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  • PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

    I'm considering purchasing a PVR, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with them? Feel free to share any information you think I might take value from as I consider my purchase.

    I'm leaning toward the low end ReplayTV model since I can use open source Java software (DVArchive) to manage it and watch content remotely using PCs around the house.

    I've only begun my research, and I'm very ignorant.
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  • #2
    Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

    Originally posted by Wyzcrak
    I'm considering purchasing a PVR, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with them? Feel free to share any information you think I might take value from as I consider my purchase.

    I'm leaning toward the low end ReplayTV model since I can use open source Java software (DVArchive) to manage it and watch content remotely using PCs around the house.

    I've only begun my research, and I'm very ignorant.
    I'm still debating on whether to buy a TiVo and the lifetime service or to build a DVR from spare computer parts and a TV Tuner card. The cost would be about the same (rough estimate, since I'd be upgrading my PC at the same time), but TiVo would have a warranty and tech support (I'm assuming).

    Anyone know how many minutes of TV can be recorded per Gig of HDD space? I'm just wondering how big of a drive the TiVo 40 hour box has...

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    • #3
      Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

      I have the Sony Digital Network Recorder w/ TiVO and I love it. I did have a problem with the on-board modem dying, but I popped in a PCI network card and did some code modification (it runs Linux) and gave myself an Internet accessable TiVO and the ability to suck anything I want off of it and on to my PC. I've also got a web interface that lets me search and schedule programs from any web browser anywhere.

      I also bought the lifetime TiVO contract...
      Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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      • #4
        Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

        I added a TV card to my desktop and purchased Beyond TV (previously called SnapStream). This is how I'll have my system in the future, unfortunately I wanted to play battlefield too much. :) When I have multiple machines, I'll have this as my DVR.

        So, I looked into TiVo and ReplayTV. ReplayTV seemed to be going under at the time I was looking so I stayed away. You can purchase a DVR from bestbuy or similar stores that offer the same features. TiVo had a high monthly fee and didn't allow you to network with your computer (at the time about a year ago). Plus, the lifetime subscription was for the life of the unit, not your life of having a box. Any modifications you make to the unit (i.e. larger HD, network card, etc.) voids the warranty.

        I ended up getting a DVR from Time Warner Cable (my cable service) because for $7 / month, I have a DVR. I didn't purchase the unit, but I can have their latest box when they get new ones. It offers most of the features that TiVo offers and that's more than I use. Plus, I get their lovely customer support.
        |TG-12th| asch
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        • #5
          Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

          If this is a TV program for the PC, I reccoment ATI All In Wonder with the drivers cd. Only use the drivers cd though, for the updated ones havnt worked on my pc. Other than that, it records awesomely, and I have had no problems with the CD drivers :)


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          • #6
            Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

            build one.

            ;)

            http://www.byopvr.com/

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            • #7
              Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

              a pcchips tvtuner card and an old computer with big hard drives. see the show your desktop month thread in the pictures and screenshots forum for links and testamonials, but I would rather have it and the software package that comes with it than a tivo any day.

              btw, the best resolution is about 5 gig for 2 hours

              viewable quality would be about 700 meg per 2 hours
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              The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

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              • #8
                Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

                Originally posted by =DdogG=
                btw, the best resolution is about 5 gig for 2 hours

                viewable quality would be about 700 meg per 2 hours
                Hmmm, so what quality does TiVo record at? I'm looking for at least the same quality as a plain old VCR. But a 160G HDD will give me at least 64 hours of the best quality TV possible (which has got to be just as good as a TiVo, I'd assume).

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                • #9
                  Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

                  One thing to note is that with most TV cards, recording software is included. This is different than the software BeyondTV (www.snapstream.com). SnapStream works (for free) with a service to pull the tv listings in your area. You can select to record certain types of tv shows, all episodes of a certain show, etc., etc. BeyondTV records DVD quality though this takes up quite a bit of HD space. If you're planning to save to DVD, use this. If you're just recording to watch later, you can lower the quality (but still keep it great), watch then delete.

                  Another thing with BeyondTV is that your machine can become a host of shows. You can access it from other machines, you can even setup your recordings remotely. You can also watch shows remotely, both recorded and live... though you're limited by bandwidth.
                  |TG-12th| asch
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                  • #10
                    Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

                    Originally posted by asch
                    One thing to note is that with most TV cards, recording software is included. This is different than the software BeyondTV (www.snapstream.com). SnapStream works (for free) with a service to pull the tv listings in your area. You can select to record certain types of tv shows, all episodes of a certain show, etc., etc. BeyondTV records DVD quality though this takes up quite a bit of HD space. If you're planning to save to DVD, use this. If you're just recording to watch later, you can lower the quality (but still keep it great), watch then delete.

                    Another thing with BeyondTV is that your machine can become a host of shows. You can access it from other machines, you can even setup your recordings remotely. You can also watch shows remotely, both recorded and live... though you're limited by bandwidth.
                    I thought pretty much all of the DVR software that they're packaging with TV cards offer this type of functionality? And what kind of video capture card are you using that offers DVD quality recording???? I can't find anything better than mpeg2 capture at a practical price...

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                    • #11
                      Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

                      Originally posted by IceCold
                      I thought pretty much all of the DVR software that they're packaging with TV cards offer this type of functionality? And what kind of video capture card are you using that offers DVD quality recording???? I can't find anything better than mpeg2 capture at a practical price...
                      DVR software that comes with TV cards may offer DVD quality recording. I didn't mean to say that other software didn't do this. What I was saying about BeyondTV is that it uses the snapstream service to access your local television lineup. From this lineup, you can select what to record, etc. With software bundled with your card, you don't get this service. This service is free when you purchase BeyondTV.
                      |TG-12th| asch
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                      • #12
                        Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

                        Originally posted by asch
                        DVR software that comes with TV cards may offer DVD quality recording.
                        I'm sorry, I'm confused. I thought that capture quality was determined by hardware?
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                        • #13
                          Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

                          it is usually determined by the input quality more than the hardware... I can recore 3 gig/hour, but its still vhs quality cause thats what my cable is.
                          Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                          The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                          If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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                          • #14
                            Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

                            Originally posted by =DdogG=
                            it is usually determined by the input quality more than the hardware...
                            Hmmm, I thought TV tuners were only as good as their decoder...
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                            • #15
                              Re: PVR (tivo, replayTV, etc)

                              while this is, of course true, I could also have a top fuel dragster running on rubbing alcohol. I doubt you will see 300+ mph. a bottleneck is a bottleneck. cable/ satellite doesnt offer DVD quality, so whats the point of a decoder that records it. most TV signal, while getting better, is still analog and sub-par compared to dvd. my decoder can take the svid input and coax audio from my dvd player and record it and it will look identical. I have a dvd player in my computer though, so why bother. point is, the decoder can do it, the siganl cant.
                              Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                              The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                              If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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